The field is prepped and ready, with the bases set just right.
The sun is starting its ascent, already warm and bright.
One by one the players show, the coaches bring their gear.
And parents clutching coffee cups, to watch the battle here.
Both teams now are warming up, assistant coaches do their best.
Hitting ground balls to the infielders, and pop flies to the rest.
The coaches stand in dugouts, one shouts across the way,
“Do you know who it is we’ve got, to ump our game today?”
The other coach then looks at him, and replies with a grin,
“Yeah, I passed him at his car, when I was coming in.”
“It’s that funny character, that everybody likes.”
“Today it will be Ivan, who’ll be calling balls and strikes.”
Soon enough they see him, as he saunters through the gate.
He strolls onto the dirt until, he’s poised behind home plate.
He calls each coach and shakes their hand, smiling all the while,
Rules and expectations are explained in ‘Ivan style’.
The coaches leave and he steps back, his mask it starts to fall.
With finger pointed toward the mound, he loudly yells, “Play Ball!”
His wish is known by everyone, as the game begins.
Above all else, enjoy yourselves, it matters not who wins.
Love of the game and for these kids, that’s why he’s standing there.
Sportsmanship and playing safe, he teaches with great care.
He prides himself with knowing, each and every rule.
Though some calls are disputed, Ivan always keeps his cool.
This very scene was played out, so often though the years.
But now we’ve just got memories, with laughs and smiles and tears.
The fact that he has left us, we don’t understand, but try.
I think I have it figured out, the reason is here why:
In Heaven was a huge match planned, there’d be no empty seat.
Known was the date, the players, and the field on which they’d meet.
But there was one final detail, the Lord was at wit’s end.
He needed an official, and did not know who to send.
So many angels qualified, the list was long for sure.
But He desired someone special, who He knew could endure.
He struggled through his roster, ‘til He came across a name.
Then smiling, he brought Ivan up, to call His perfect game.